Local News

Two Charged With First-Degree Murder In Death of Missing Dunn Woman

Posted May 3, 2002

— Two people are in jail charged in the Easter murder of a Harnett County woman.

Officials in Harnett County found the body of Brenda Renee Lancaster, 27, late Thursday night off Interstate 95 near Dunn. Lancaster was last seen on March 31.

Lancaster's former boyfriend and his current girlfriend are charged in her death.

The suspects, Kenneth Earl Byrd Jr., 30, and Roswitha Federlein Morrison, 55, are being held in the Harnett County jail. They were taken into custody by Harnett County detectives at a Carolina Beach motel Thursday.

Harnett County Sheriff Larry Knott said Byrd handled the gun used in the shooting. He said Morrison was with Byrd on March 31 when the shooting allegedly took place.

Knott said Lancaster apparently pulled up behind the couple in her vehicle on an Interstate 95 exit ramp.

"An argument ensued with the three of them there," he said. "Allegedly, Renee Lancaster was shot once then and then later shot twice. The body was taken to a drainage ditch off Interstate 95 east of Dunn, where it was disposed of in that ditch and covered."

Thursday, Byrd and Morrison showed detectives where Lancaster's body was, and then showed them where her truck had been burned.

Byrd and Morrison have been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and larceny of a motor vehicle. Both also have a prior criminal record.

Cumberland County investigators have reportedly recovered the murder weapon.

Family members said they last saw Lancaster on Easter Sunday as she was on her way to visit her two children, who were staying with her estranged husband.


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